MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - Real Madrid youngster Denis Cheryshev was a surprise inclusion in Russia coach Fabio Capello’s provisional squad Wednesday for next month’s friendly against the United States.
The winger, 21, has yet to play a competitive game for Real’s senior team, but has impressed playing for the Spanish giants’ reserves, and for Russia’s under-21 side, where he has scored six goals in 12 games.
It is the first time he has been included in a senior Russia squad.
"I'm very happy that I made it into the provisional squad for the national team," Cheryshev said on Twitter. "We'll keep working."
Every player who featured in Russia's last match, a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan earlier this month, has been retained, while there is still no return for established names Andrei Arshavin, Pavel Pogrenbyak and Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Capello has stuck by his captain Igor Denisov, included despite his being shut out of competitive club action after a conflict with Zenit St. Petersburg management.
Capello has given regular fringe players another chance to win a first senior cap, with Dynamo Moscow defender Vladimir Granat and the Lokomotiv Moscow midfield pair of Magomed Ozdoev and Dmitry Tarasov all included.
Ex-Chelsea wing-back Yuri Zhirkov, now at Anzhi Makhachkala, returns to Capello’s plans after being left out of the national set-up last time amid fitness concerns.
Capello showed willingness to experiment in goal, leaving out regular stand-in Anton Shunin of Dynamo Moscow in favor of an untested pair, FC Kuban’s Alexander Belenov and Spartak Moscow’s Artyom Rebrov.
Belenov told R-Sport he was delighted at the call-up, especially because the match will be played in the southern city of Krasnodar, at his club side Kuban's home stadium.
"It's my longtime dream to play for the national team," he said.
"It would be especially great to debut in Krasnodar in front of the Kuban fans. I hope to make the final squad for the match with the U.S."
A final squad is to be announced next week.
Russia host the U.S. on November 14.
Since taking charge in July, Capello has remained unbeaten as Russia coach following a friendly draw against the Ivory Coast and World Cup qualifying wins against Northern Ireland, Israel, Portugal and Azerbaijan.
Russia provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Belenov (FC Kuban), Vladimir Gabulov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Artyom Rebrov (Spartak Moscow).
Defenders: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexey Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Taras Burlak (Lokomotiv Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Arseny Logashov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Evgeny Makeev (Spartak Moscow), Georgy Shchennikov (CSKA Moscow), Renat Yanbaev (Lokomotiv Moscow, on loan at Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexei Yeshchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala).
Midfielders: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Spartak Moscow), Vladimir Bystrov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Denis Cheryshev (Real Madrid), Igor Denisov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Viktor Faizulin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Denis Glushakov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Vladislav Kulik (FC Kuban), Magomed Ozdoev (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Oleg Shatov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Roman Shirokov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dmitry Tarasov (Lokomotiv Moscow).
Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Spartak Moscow), Maxim Grigoryev (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow, Fyodor Smolov (Anzhi Makhachkala).